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JUICE FESTIVAL THRIVES THANKS TO PORT OF TYNE SPONSORSHIP22 Oct 2014

Children and young people visiting NewcastleGateshead this October half term will benefit from investment by Port of Tyne after the leading North East business was announced as headline sponsor of NewcastleGateshead Initiative's Juice Festival.

 

The multi-arts festival for children, young people and their families features a ten day programme of exciting events and performances throughout the October half term, as well as a work experience strand for talented young people.

The Port of Tyne has played a vital role in supporting the young people's work experience programme, Team Juice, which has seen a group of young journalists, programmers and assistants curate, develop and produce various aspects of the ten day festival.

Performers from Five Ring Circus, a regional youth circus from the North East that will be performing at Juice Festival, entertained passengers at the Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal to celebrate the Port's sponsorship of the festival.

Committed to enhancing opportunities for young people, Port of Tyne was headline sponsor of Juice Festival in 2013 and has continued its support in 2014 as the festival celebrates its seventh year.

Carol Bell, head of culture and major events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: "Juice Festival is much more than a cultural event, it nurtures and supports children and young people and allows them to be creative. Port of Tyne has helped us expand the opportunities available to children and young people and give them an outlet to express themselves.

"We're delighted to have Port of Tyne onboard as headline sponsors of Juice Festival and we look forward to working with them for many years to come as we build on the successes of the first seven years of Juice."

Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are committed to supporting projects that inspire young people in the region and offer them exciting opportunities to participate and learn new skills.

"Juice Festival does this and more and we are proud to be part of creating a memorable experience for all involved. We look forward to getting behind Team Juice and welcoming David Almond to this year's fantastic programme, which is as jam-packed and diverse as ever."

This year's Juice Festival features some special events celebrating the work of award-winning author David Almond, whose novels include Skellig, Kit's Wilderness and The Fire-Eaters. David joins Juice Festival as artistic advisor and has played a key role in shaping this year's event.

"Young people are natural artists. They play, sing, dance, talk, draw, paint, act, read, write, inquire, worry, yearn and dream. As they grow, they recreate the world and help to make it a better place," said David.

"Don't believe the groaning pessimists who say that kids today are disengaged. This wonderfully optimistic festival shows that young people are active and creative citizens, and that their artistic lives are at the beating heart of our culture. We're fortunate to have such a festival here on Tyneside."

Events at Juice Festival inspired by David Almond and his work include The Big Juice Read at Newcastle City Library and Gateshead Central Library (Tues 28 October). Young performers and designers will help bring to life The Boy who Swam with Piranhas in two activity filled events celebrating the book.

David Almond himself will perform readings from some of his books in a special event at St Mary's Heritage Centre, Gateshead (Fri 31 October). The reading will also include a sneak preview of some of David's latest writing.

Five Ring Circus, a regional youth circus from the North East, will be presenting their own interpretation of David's book, The Boy who Swam with Piranhas.  Taking place at Discovery Museum, Newcastle, The Fantastic Fairground of Fishy Feats (Wed 29 & Thu 30 October) uses the themes and characters from The Boy who Swam with Piranhas to create a brand new piece of circus theatre. The costumes, choreography and story have been created and developed by young people.

Théâtre Sans Frontières, one of the region's leading theatre companies, will be performing a brand new play based on David's popular book, Heaven Eyes (Tues 28 & Wed 29 October).  David Almond himself has been involved in the adaptation of the story which tells the tale of three children who flee an orphanage, down the River Tyne, only to be rescued by a strange girl with webbed hands and feet named Heaven Eyes. This is the first time a stage version of this book has been performed.

In addition to events inspired by the festival's new artistic advisor, Juice Festival also presents performances, workshops and events designed and delivered by children and young people. 

The opening weekend of Juice Festival sees the welcome return of NewcastleGateshead's Japanese culture and manga festival Anime Attacks. The two day event, which takes place on Friday 24 & Saturday 25 October at Gateshead Central Library, includes art and crafts, fashion, anime, food, films, games and competitions and a special film night on Friday 24 October.

Saturday 25 October also sees one of the biggest names in street art arrive at Juice Festival to lead free graffiti and urban art workshops for children.  Inkie, aka Tom Bingle, is viewed by many as one the pioneers of street art, along with fellow Bristolians Banksy and 3D. Inkie will be working with young people during Juice Festival's Art Jam event at the CoMusica arches behind Sage Gateshead with fellow graff artists Sune and The Gov'ner.

One of the world's leading children's theatre companies, Compagnia TPO, presents the UK premier of its new work at Dance City on Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October as part of Juice Festival. ‘Bleu' is the Italian company's latest offering that will transport audiences to a magical journey at the bottom of the sea. Suitable for children of all ages, ‘Bleu' combines theatre, dance and technical wizardry to make a unique and interactive experience for children and families.

Juice - NewcastleGateshead's festival for children and young people takes place from Friday 24 October - Sunday 2 November 2014. For full details of all the events taking place at this year's festival and to book tickets, please visit www.juicefestival.co.uk.

Follow Juice Festival on twitter @JuiceFestival or like the Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/JuiceFestival.NG

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